Emirates Steel, the largest single integrated steel producer in the UAE, announced yesterday that it has established, together with the Vocational Education Development Center (VEDC) a new training facility at VEDC’s campus in Shahama. VEDC’s agreement with Emirates Steel is to help the Center’s UAE national students fit in the steel industry once they graduate.

Prior to that, Emirates Steel and VEDC had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish a clear framework for a strategic partnership between them and to provide career development opportunities for national students pursuing their studies at the VEDC. The MoU was signed in May 2010.

The training facility, which opened its doors to VEDC students yesterday, will implement a practical training approach to provide UAE students with technical and safety knowledge about the steel industry. The objective is to assimilate those students in Emirates Steel’s workforce immediately once they graduate. Emirates Steel, a subsidiary of General Holding Corporation (GHC), aims to increase the percentage of nationals within its workforce by 2015 to around 50 per cent.

“With the objective of developing a skilled UAE national workforce in the steel industry, we have joined hands with VEDC to establish this training facility,” said HE Suhail Al Ameri, Emirates Steel’s Chairman. The first batch embraced 35 students, who will complete their educational curriculum within two years. “I am very proud of this new training initiative and I believe it will provide our UAE nationals with hands-on experience that will assist them in being well prepared to handle their duties once they join our Company. At Emirates Steel, we are committed to give promising nationals the chance to become the future pioneers of the steel industry”.

Located at the VEDC campus in Shahama, the training facility’s curriculum combines theory with practice by delivering “on-the-job” training coupled with classroom sessions. A team of highly-skilled professionals from VEDC provides training to students to endow them with the necessary skills and competencies that will enable them to start their future career within the steel industry immediately after they graduate.

“As part of our commitment towards the UAE community, Emirates Steel has always stressed the importance of allocating jobs to UAE nationals and the need to support them. Through this new training facility, our Company will assist national students in developing their personal and professional competences, and contribute to the development of a pool of well-qualified, open-minded and experienced young nationals as future professionals within the lucrative iron and steel business,” added Al Ameri.

Training at the new facility will be carried out in close collaboration with Emirates Steel’s Operations and Maintenance Departments. “These programs have already been developed in close collaboration between our Department Managers and Administrative Support. The VEDC instructors have also developed a detailed training schedule for each job position included in the program. These schedules clearly highlight all the activities to be implemented and the equipment required for every specific job,” emphasized Al Ameri. The training program will bring the VEDC graduates to the required competency level of their assigned jobs and will help them understand their roles and responsibilities before they join Emirates Steel, he asserted.

Through documented evaluations by the VEDC staff, Emirates Steel’s Administrative Support Department will ensure that the trainees have absorbed the required training content and have reached the required entry competency level for every job. “Emirates Steel and VEDC have initiated this training facility to support the delivery of industrial expertise and technical know-how to young UAE nationals as part of their corporate social responsibility and community involvement. We have provided sponsorship to a number of VEDC students and provided the instructors with necessary tools, equipment, and facilities they need for hands-on training or demonstrations as required,” concluded Al Ameri.